Bon Jovi

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Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi - Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf (Germany) - 13th of July 2011.

Early in the morning the alarm clock sang "Your love is like bad medicine.. bad medicine is what I need, Whoah oh ohh..." and I knew which day had come: Bon Jovi day! Good music on board and rock 'n' roll in our hearts we hit the road to drive the 300km to Dusseldorf. Even though it was raining like hell we were looking forward so much forward to seeing the show!

Arriving at the Esprit Arena all the visitors were first led in totally wrong directions, so it was a pretty nice chaos goin on! At around 5:30pm the security opened the doors and the crowd stormed the arena like they were all gone crazy. We were "Golden Circle" ticket holders so we made it pretty close to the catwalk behind the "Diamond Circle". What I personally found very interesting (or rather sad) was that most of the so-called fans didn't look like fans. Three years ago one couldn't find one person not wearing a Bon Jovi shirt, this time you had to search for those quite desperately. Furthermore, the fanclub members were pretty funny to watch. Writing posters, wearing truly strange self-made t-shirts and, of course, always behaving like snappish watchdogs to ensure that no "normal" fan would enter the front rows!

The Brakers opened the concert as supporting band. The front singer kinda behaved like an epileptic on stage, maybe a pretty ridiculous-looking way to copy Joe Cocker. Nevertheless the band played a nice set of self-made blues rock alternative songs, though I thought they all sounded very similar and weren't quite entertaining.

Finally Bon Jovi entered the scene, opening their show with the new song ‘Happy Now’. My heart was racing 800 beats a minute, kinda crazy that I'm still excited like a kid on Christmas day when I see Bon Jovi, haha! From the first second onwards I had the feeling that this special kind of "Bon Jovi magic" connected the band with the audience and Jon had somehow restored his joy in singing. The lightshow was more than fantastic! Stunning effects on the enormous LED screens and an impressive amount of lights created an undescribable atmosphere inside the arena, and especially the video-effects during ‘We Weren't Born to Follow’ were astonishing - red and blue comic-like figures and repeating words like "Stand Up", "Unite" and "Inspire" appeared and made us all become a part of "Johnny's Church of rock'n'roll", calling everybody to become patriotic with this planet and re-unite for a better world.

The set was well-thought-out, a great mixture of new and good old songs. However, I have to be critical at this point: the old songs with their unique beats were played kinda "simplified", such that even ‘I'll Sleep When I'm Dead’ sounded pretty much like any cheap pop-song written by Lady Gaga! Actually I had the feeling the band wants to do it that way, to adapt the old songs with the style of their new ones which appeared really weird and even annoying to the majority of the audience. But lets go on with the show!

After ‘Bad Medicine’ had ended, Jon walked across the stage and on the catwalk coming to the golden circle audience. The first chords of ‘When We Were Beautiful began and the audience freaked out. Jon standing maybe 3 meters far away from me singing his heart out, well I began to melt. He looked very young again, the tired eyes were gone and he truly seemed to enjoy himself and being adored. When Richie came to join Jon on the catwalk I was actually very surprised how healthy he was looking such a short time after his rehab. He played less enthusiastically and left out all the complicated parts (Bobby Bandiera took over serveral solos) but he was hailed as a hero anyway just for being back on stage. At this point I just thought "Thank God he might have understood what this world sees in him and has a reason to stop destroying himself"... well, it was just a thought. Richie and Jon played "I'll Be There For You’ and they seemed to sing for each other just like best friends holding each other’s hands during though tough times. It was fascinating: pure feeling, love and adoration. The crowd was captured in this moment and every heart was beating the same rhythm beyond this resplendent firmament.

Back to the main stage Bon Jovi rocked the arena with several old songs such as "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead’ and ‘Someday I'll Be Saturday Night’, again proving that they're still able to make 50.000 people raise their hands. So much for "getting old"!
Their encore with In These Arms’, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive, ‘Blood on Blood’ and ‘Livin’ on a prayer" was the ultimate conclusion of a fantastic evening! The animated fireworks and pyros during ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’ newly created this unique Bon Jovi community, bringing everyone together, be it Germans or foreigners, children or adults, long-haired or bald. At this point we were standing united as one thanks to the Bon Jovi memories we all were sharing deep inside our hearts. Music, love and rock'n'roll fulfilled each and every one of us...

Julia Braun


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